With Apple, Google and COVID-19, tech journalists hit the trifecta

Death. Contagion. Privacy. Surveillance. Rivalry. Collaboration. Trump. This story had everything.

apple google covid techmeme For more than a decade I've made a habit of scanning the headlines on Techmeme several times a day, just to make sure I hadn't missed any big tech news. In all those years, I've never seen anything like this.

On Saturday morning, the day after Apple and Google announced they were collaborating on a COVID-19 contact-tracking system, Techmeme's lead story from The Verge was linked to, by my count,

  • 80 different headlines (From AppleInsider to ZDNet)
  • 91 tweets (@ashk4n to @zypherteachout)

Sidebars on how the contact-tracing framework works and the limits of Bluetooth-based systems yielded another 13 stories and 32 tweets.

A Google search for "Apple Google COVID" turned up 1.82 million hits in 0.51 seconds, for what that's worth.

My take: Overkill.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    if you put quotations around “Apple, Google, COVID-19”.you get m2 hits.

    April 11, 2020
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Should have read “2,190 hits”. Yours was a common search mistake. Without the quotations the search results in anything that contains at least one of the search criteria. With quotation the search only finds those containing all three of the criteria.

    Still 2,190 shows just how much “journalism” today is nothing more than repeating what has been previously reported by others.

    April 11, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    “… My take: Overkill.”

    Folk may be fatigue reading Jerry D’s comments, but most of us quarantined are shocked to hear of mom & pop stores, sole proprietorships and small businesses going under where people’s livelihoods are destroyed.

    Poppycock on government assistance! Main Street mom and pops and small businesses get loans, if they are lucky. If you already are struggling to survive, then what good does added debt do? It is another loan one has to pay off. Only large corporations like the airlines get bailouts.

    There is no way the government and banks are going to be able to process tens of millions of applications, from all the recipients needing loans. Government isn’t staffed to handle such an influx. Banks are going to give priority to their existing clientele. It will take months and even passed a year to process and get the needed data from most recipients, data that must be confirmed before extending the government loans. Boeing and Delta have teams of staff with lobbyists to streamline the process for not only loans but grants, a more euphemistic term for a bailout.

    In most parts of the country COVID-19 is not an issue as the media, politicians and public health officials make it to be. Yet, folk are quarantined in their homes and can’t even go to the park or drive to the forest to exercise. We can, though, go to the gun shop for new pistols and ammo.

    No need existed to collapse the economies in these geographic regions and destroy livelihoods. Hot spots such as New York, Seattle and New Orleans demand and require extreme mitigating measures for containment, but commerce in other parts of the nation along with sanitary practices and behavioral changes would have sufficed.

    Ninety-eight (98%) of the people who contract COVID-19 are going to recover just fine. Like other virulent influenza, it is the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions who need maximum attention and protection. Governments, politicians and public health officials could have targeted this vulnerable group by isolating them.

    COVID-19 is a virulent strain of influenza. It is very contagious. COVID-19 is not, though, the apocalypse portend by the click-bait media, exploited by opportunist politicians and altruistic public bureaucratic health officials finally illuminated from a relegated back dark room to impart their deserving message. It is an overkill beyond the pale.

    April 11, 2020

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